- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department will host its first motorcycle rodeo Saturday to raise money for a new pumper tanker.
Event coordinator Chris Bowen said the department is hoping to raise $125,000 total for the truck through various fundraisers, including the rodeo and the department’s annual End of Summer Bash that was held Sept. 15.
The tanker, Bowen said, is basically a large truck that carries water to areas that don’t have access to a fire hydrant or can use a local body of water.
The department’s vice president, Michael Collins, said the tanker is used on a regular basis, especially during the day when there are less volunteers available to fight fires.
“It’s first due, which means it’s the first piece out of the door,” he explained. ”Without the pumper truck, it’s not safe. ... It could mean the difference between watching the house burn or not.”
Bowen said he hopes the event will raise $15,000 to $20,000 for the tanker, but Collins has higher hopes of $50,000.
The day will begin with a poker run departing at 10 a.m. at the department. Bowen said the run will then travel to the St. Leonard, Prince Frederick, Hughesville and Hollywood volunteer fire departments and end back at the Solomons department. The winner will receive $500, Bowen said.
The motorcycle rodeo begins at 1 p.m. It will consist of motorcycle jousting, which Bowen said is the same as ring jousting on a horse except on a motorcycle; a slow race, in which the slowest time through the 100-yard course without putting one’s feet down wins; a keg roll, in this case pushed by a moving motorcycle down a 200-foot course; a “hot dog bite-off,” in which the motorcycle passenger tries to bite as much as possible off a dangling hot dog; an obstacle course that requires motorcyclists to zig-zag through cones while the passenger picks up as many tennis balls as possible; a bartender service competition in which the passenger holds a tray of six large Solo cups filled with water over his or her head while traveling through an obstacle course; a tug-of-war between the motorcyclists and the firefighters; and a “Honey, I’m Home” competition in which partners lay on the ground, a horn goes off and one person gets up, puts on baggy clothes, jumps over a hurdle designed as a window, gets on the motorcycle and races to the finish line.
Collins said the day will end with a freestyle event for the “more experienced motorcycle riders to do stunts and things. It’s going to be really cool.”
Vendors, including Stoney’s Catering and a “fire truck filled with 10 kegs of beer” from Bob Hall LLC, also will be at the event, Bowen said.
“We’re asking for about 20 percent of their profits,” he said of the vendors.
Bowen said he hopes there will be five local bands performing throughout the day, although he doesn’t know which ones yet.
“I know so many people that are so excited to take part in [the day],” Bowen said, adding that the department wants to make this an annual event.